One of the things that Kagan advocates is classroom seating. At my previous school I HAD to have my tables in rows. When I tried to move them into my preferred U shape I was forced to move them back into rows after a short period. So now I’m in my new school I was pleased to see that my classroom seating already looked like it was in a U shape and until today it stayed that way.
The reason why I like the U shape is that I feel I can see all my pupils from one vantage point, it enables pair work, and it allows all pupils to see the centre of my room with the visual displays – either posters or power points. I have found, however, that chattier groups take advantage of having people around them, and opposite them, I cannot access every single pupil’s desk if I have a full group of 32 in and if I want pupils to work in groups, or to do activities more suited to 4s (typically, cooperative learning structure activities) it is a bit more difficult.
I never thought I’d want tables of 4s, but this morning’s PSHE lesson lent itself to rearranging my room and I’ve decided to keep it that way for a week or so. My Year 10s responded well to it after lunch (a lesson in which they can sometimes get a bit rowdy), and my form liked it too. It also has some other admin advantages such as making it easier to get glue sticks out to stick in sheets with just 1 per table, or handing out sheets. Even team points can be linked to table teams and I think it is also a good opportunity to reassess my seating plans now I know most of the children and am used to my groups.
I’ll let you know how it goes!